No Mermaid from Sinéad Lohan

Sinéad Lohan's sophomore release, No Mermaid, is a richly equipped album with catchy hooks and thoughtful, deep lyrics. This album is one smart cookie, because it's got everything a great album needs--superb, reflective lyrics, catchy tunes, a great voice, and a variety of rhythms. No Mermaid is all that and more. The greatest gems on this album are: "Don't I Know," a slicing song with cool lyrics and a danceable beat; "Whatever It Takes..." is a rollicking, bright and almost Irish-influenced song as Sinéad's voice glimmers over it all; "What Can Never Be," a light, almost lullaby-like song; "Hot On Your Trail," a song with deep lyrics and a spicy beat; and "Diving To Be Deeper," a playful and vivacious song with a unique rhythm. All in all, No Mermaid stands out as being a shining beacon in the sea of Irish singer albums, and Sinéad's effervescent voice proves that she's worthy to be counted as one of the best.

Read all the lyrics on No Mermaid


(From INFOBeat):

12:03 PM ET 03/18/99

Ireland Has New Singer

By DAVID BAUDER= Associated Press Writer=

NEW YORK (AP) _ Women often react as if they're hearing a feminist anthem when singer Sinead Lohan performs the title cut to her album, ``No Mermaid.'' The hypnotic chorus certainly sounds like a defiant statement of self-sufficiency in a patriarchal society: ``I am no mermaid, and I am no fisherman's slave,'' she sings. ``I am no mermaid, I keep my head above the waves.'' Yet Lohan is uncomfortable when women cheer and sing along in solidarity with sisterhood. In those moments, she's apt to switch personal pronouns and make the mermaid a man. She began writing the song with the image of a person going down to the water's edge, faced with the prospect of swimming out of his or her depth. ``Some people would take the challenge and go for it and others would be too conflicted,'' she explained over a cup of coffee one cold afternoon in Manhattan. ``I was thinking that no matter how far you go out into the water, you're still a person, you still have to go back on the land. ``That's what it was,'' she said. ``It wasn't about women at all. I was just making an observation about human nature. I leave that sort of hidden political message to another Sinead.'' Lohan's not about to have her music hijacked by anyone. Her American debut album, one of last year's best, exhibits that resolve. It's a sturdy collection of folk-rock, impressive in its maturity and sense of craft. Lohan, 28, grew up in County Cork, Ireland, the daughter of a school administrator and a father who used to play in show bands. She was a fan of classical music, but was also moved by contemporary artists like Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and that other Sinead _ Sinead O'Connor. ``I admired them for being themselves,'' she said. ``It wasn't like I could sing like them or write like them. I discovered you could be yourself and still be that strong.'' After graduating from high school, she took a college course in music and began singing her own songs in a pub back home. Before Lohan even had a chance to decide whether music was what she wanted to do with her life, her songs started getting noticed and she made a record. That 1995 album, ``Who Do You Think I Am,'' was a Top 10 hit in Ireland and was eventually released throughout Europe. ``No Mermaid'' represents Americans' first chance to hear her music. She's signed to Interscope Records in the United States, one of the most successful labels of the 1990s. Her songs are infused with ambivalent characters. ``Sometimes you give me all you've got to give me,'' Lohan sings, ``and sometimes you act like you don't care.'' She says she's fascinated at how everyone can relate to the emotions in music, regardless of language or nationality. ``I'm really only trying to capture a feeling that you might have had for a minute in a song,'' she said. ``It's like trying to take a photograph of a particular feeling or a time. I'm writing about really small things. I'm not writing about any things that are unusual _ it's just basic human emotions.'' And don't worry if you can't understand what's going on in a particular song. Sometimes you're not meant to. ``I'm trying to create a mood in a song and it doesn't matter what the words mean, really,'' she said. ``Maybe I get a feeling from someone else's songs and I wouldn't necessarily know what they are talking about.'' In producer Malcolm Burn, Lohan found a distinctive, though not overwhelming, partner. Burn is a disciple of producer Daniel Lanois, whose spooky soundscapes are heard on albums like Bob Dylan's ``Time Out of Mind.'' The drawback to Lanois is sometimes his work is more recognizable than the artist he's producing. Burn had intriguing production ideas but they were all in service to the song. ``I needed a producer who would take what I produced and build a picture around me instead of a collaborator,'' she said. ``I sang as best I could and he filled it in. His production ideas were amazing, he made every sound sound different.'' Lohan's career was boosted by an association with Joan Baez. She opened concerts for Baez on a British tour and the veteran folkie was so impressed with Lohan's work she recorded two of her songs, including ``No Mermaid.'' ``I take it as a huge compliment, that somebody who has been around so many great songwriters would choose to record some of my songs,'' Lohan said. ``She's in a different scene, but she appeals to a lot of people.'' Meanwhile, Lohan is methodically trying to build her audience. She's done three separate concert tours in the United States since the album's release, each time playing to bigger crowds. She was even amenable to playing in the Northeast during the winter even while pregnant with her first child. She brought along her childhood sweetheart, an accountant, for company. ``It's still very exciting for me to come over from Ireland and play,'' she said. ``It's still a big adventure.''

No Mermaid Song List:

1. No Mermaid

2. Don't I Know

3. Whatever It Takes....

4. Loose Ends

5. Whether Or Not

6. What Can Never Be

7. Believe It If You Like

8. Out of the Woods

9. People and Tables

10. Disillusionment

11. Hot On Your Trail

12. Diving To Be Deeper

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